1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites by Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Glasgow Museums, National Army

By Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Glasgow Museums, National Army Museum

1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites

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We had to wash the soil off the vegetables, especially the root vegetables – potatoes, carrots and beetroots – before we took them into school. We had to be particularly careful not to damage the green fern-like tops of the carrots, so that they looked pretty in the display. We had to take care with the beetroots; if the tail was cut off too close to the beetroot or the leaves were cut off too low on the stalk, the beetroot would ‘bleed’. The huge Savoy cabbages with their bright green curly leaves, took up lots of space in the display, and they were so fresh that their leaves squeaked when pressed.

I loved the smell of new leather. Whenever I got new shoes, before I put them on, I poked my nose inside and breathed in deeply to inhale the smell of the leather. What I really longed for was a pair of black patent leather shoes. One Easter, my mother finally decided I could have a pair. I couldn’t believe it! I had wanted them for so long. New shoes meant a trip to Hendersons, one of the big department stores in the city centre, where one of my mother’s old school friends worked in the shoe department.

The smell of hydrogen sulphide was appalling when I had wind and went to the toilet, and I desperately hoped no one was around when this happened. Heat bumps were one thing, I could cope with them, but insect bites were totally different! In a field full of people, all the insects would head straight for me – horseflies, midges, fleas, you name them, they loved to take a bite out of me. The horsefly bites were the most unbearable. The area around the bite would swell into a hard, red, shiny throbbing lump about three inches in diameter, and then it would weep for days.

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